Sung by: Mrs. Joan Arnold Hays
Recorded in Wilburn, AR 9/6/62

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A jolly group of cowboys
On far-off range one night,
Their heads were on their saddles,
And camp was burning bright.

Some were telling stories,
And some were singing songs.
One was quietly smoking
As the hours rolled on . . .

(Mrs. Hays: "Now, I believe I'm on the wrong song. I believe that's 'Cowboy Jack'."
??: "You're doing all right. No, that's not 'Cowboy Jack.' Go on with it.")

Soon they fell to talking
Of home they loved so dear.
One boy rode up on his saddle
And brushed away a tear.

They asked him why he'd left his home
That was so dear to him.
He gazed at the ground for a moment,
And his bright blue eyes grew dim.

He gazed at the ground for a moment
And viewed the rough . . . ,
Saying, "Boys, I'll tell you my story,
Why I'm at home no more.

"I fell in love with the neighbor's girl,
Whose cheeks were pale and white,
Another fellow loved her too,
So it ended with a fight.

"This fellow's name was Thomas Jones.
We knew each other as boys.
We shared each other's sorrows,
And shared each other's joys.

"I never, never shall forget
That awful, awful night
When Tom and I were quarrelling.
I stabbed him with a knife.

"I fell to the ground beside him
To try to stop the blood.
A wounded side did flow, boys;
It flowed a crimson flood.

"Now, boys, I've told you my story,
Why I'm at home no more,
A sinner in this desperate land,
So far away from home."

(Comment by Mrs. Hays: "I've got that wrong. It goes, 'Why I'm compelled to roam'.")

Also found in Brown, Vol. II, #265, "A Jolly Group of Cowboys."

All Songs Recorded by John Quincy Wolf, Jr., unless otherwise noted

The John Quincy Wolf Folklore Collection
Lyon College, Batesville, Arkansas
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